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After Action Report
Marine Fighting Squadron 251

Date of Action: November 6, 2009
Base of Operations: A92
Division Assignment: Sweep C83

VMF-251 took off at 2302 with eight P-40B's and formed up with 9GIAP for sweep of target area, task group C83. Squadron formed up by flights:

Red Flight
Lt. Col. Wyatt
2nd Lt. Millsaps
1st Lt. Roche
2nd Lt. Coronado

Blue Flight
Capt. Sidle
1st Lt. Trol
2nd Lt. King 1st Lt. Bodie

Squadron climbed to maximum altitude and proceeded SW to target area to search for task group. King experienced mechanical failure at 2315. Attempted to launch again at 2323, but vanished three minutes later. Remainder of formation proceeded as planned.

Contact made with enemy aircraft over task group. Wyatt relayed target position to B-17s of LCA, then engaged. 9GIAP retained top cover while VMF-251 engaged A6Ms slightly below. Red Flight entered first with Blue Flight covering high, before entire squadron committed to action.

Wyatt shot down A6M at 2329, and a second at 2331. Coronado claimed A6M at 2333.Wyatt shot down third Zero at 2334. Bodie shot down A6M at 2335. Sidle shot down 2335. Wyatt claimed fourth A6M at 2336. Herder experienced engine failure due to unknown cause and crashed at 2338.

B-17s of LCA completed attack on task group unopposed, and returned to base for rearm and second attack. 9GIAP and VMF-251 reported target area cleared of enemy aircraft, and withdrew to rearm. En route 9GIAP redirected to A17 to assist defenders, and VMF-251 pushed for A6 for same.

Squadron arrived in time to help finish off last of attack on A6, then returned to A92. Squadron recovered successfully at 0018.

Personnel Status
Lt. Col. David Wyatt Landed Safely
2nd Lt. Billy Millsaps Landed Safely
1st Lt. Neil Roche Crashed
2nd Lt. Eli Coronado Landed Safely
Capt. Michael Sidle Shot Down
1st Lt. Trol Landed Safely
2nd Lt. Frank King Vanished
1st Lt. Norwood Bodie Landed Safely

Equipment Status
9 P-40B 5 Recovered

1 Mechanical Failure

3 Lost

Pilot Victories
Lt. Col. David Wyatt 4
2nd Lt. Eli Coronado 1
1st Lt. Norwood Bodie 1

Pilot Surface
2nd Lt. Eli Coronado 1